22 February 2011

Bad times, good times

What hurt Monk most, however, was the reminder that for all his hard work, for all the press he had received, for all the gigs he had cobbled together, for all the recording sessions and requisite rehearsals, for all the sidemen too green or too lazy to play his music correctly, he was broke and Dizzy was rich. The article reported that Dizzy’s combined income for 1948 [when Monk was 31 years of age] was expected to exceed $25,000, and that over the past eight years he had earned $20,000 in royalties from recording.
— from p. 142 of
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
by Robin D.G. Kelley

On the 4th of July, 1957, Monk began what turned out to be a six-month stay at the Five Spot Café. Working six nights a week, four sets a night, Monk earned $600 a week, $225 he kept for himself and the rest he paid his three sidemen. It was his first long-term engagement as a leader and it was his first regular paycheck since working for Coleman Hawkins over a decade earlier. He was now thirty-nine years old.
— op.cit., p. 225

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